Creative Writing Prompts: What if…?

One of the freshest, most invigorating experiences I’ve had as a fledgling writer is being challenged with a writing prompt. The technique actually comes from the marketing world, where people spin an idea and see what they come up with. Mostly used by creative writing instructors, you’re given a sentence and you have free reign …
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A Ray of Sunshine: When a Writer Has a Good Day (#abna)

The good days for a writer usually revolve around a day when the words flow, the images form, and the plot thickens. It’s our own personal heaven and we tuck ourselves into bed that night with a sense of immense satisfaction. But also as writers, we subject ourselves to constant criticism, as do all artists. …
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Writing the Love Scene: Sex or No Sex

My first foray into writing led me to an uncomfortable place: writing the love scene— and so I decided to do a little research before I made a total fool of myself. Since it was a YA novel, it was tame compared to what I’ve currently written, but I quickly understood that the elements are …
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Friday Inspiration: Homage to Shirley Temple/ Writing Stories with Unabashed Optimism

Okay, I’m admitting this right up front. I may be making this up. However, I do believe these memories are real. I have a vivid recollection of the first “grown-up” book I read; Heidi, by Johanna Spyri, originally published in 1880 and in German: A tale about a little Swiss girl and her grandfather. I’d …
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Plant a Garden: On Becoming a Word Gatherer

As I surge forward in my growth as a writer I often reflect on the speech patterns learned from my family. It wasn’t until I attended college that I realized my mother should have been nicknamed “The Cliché Queen.” I thought everyone spoke that way until someone pointed it out to me. I still struggle …
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Friday Inspiration: Research Your Setting

UnderCovers Part I: Alyx The old adage goes: Write what you know, and this is particularly pertinent in regard to location. There was a good deal of criticism about E.L James’ depiction of Seattle, WA, many saying she had some of the roads incorrect and the time it took to get her characters around was inaccurate. …
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A Stellar Opening Sentence

Once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived a very sad fairy princess.   I’ve accepted the painful truth. I’ve pretty much ruined reading for most of my gal pals. Eventually they bounce back, but each of them has admitted that after listening to me ramble on about the elements of great …
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